By Moses Leos III
Improvements along north Burleson Street could mean less flooding of properties during rainstorms.
The $160,000 storm sewer infrastructure could help Kyle alleviate flooding issues in the area and handle up to a 25-year flood event.
Joann Garcia, project manager for the Burleson Street improvement project, said a study showed the city needed to make necessary changes.
“It’s a good option for the city, and there shouldn’t be any problems,” Garcia said. “It should be a major improvement from what’s out there.”
The study, conducted by Freese and Nichols in December, showed the city’s prime problems, and pinpointed the flooding on Burleson Street, one of the more problematic areas in Kyle.
Garcia said the system could not handle a severe storm, a two-year storm event.
“As Burleson stands today, water was coming across the street and people’s properties, because ditches don’t have the capacity to handle the heavier rains,” City Engineer Leon Barba said.
Storm water was also traveling down Burleson as fast as nine or ten feet per second, the report showed. The high rate of speed exacerbated erosion issues that could damage or weaken existing infrastructure.
Upgrades have been in the works since the city started planning for the widening of Burleson. The overall street improvement, totaling $7.1 million, is a part of the city’s 2013 road bond initiative.
Barba said the city’s original intent was to catch storm water runoff that could result from widening of Burleson Street. The city hoped to install berms, a rain garden or other means of catching runoff without building a detention pond.
“Once you build impervious cover, it’s going to affect folks downstream,” Barba said. “So that was the intent. To try to catch and incorporate those methods in the right-of-way.”
But the fix wouldn’t fix the flooding around Burleson Road. Garcia said she has received complaints from homeowners that their backyards were flooded – as far away as homes in the Spring Branch subdivision.
Several solutions to mitigate the problem were presented by Freese and Nichols, with the best option costing around $2 million.
Kyle opted to fix the problem at a cost of $160,000 and get the “biggest bang for our buck,” Barba said.
The fix will deepen the drainage ditch in front of St. Anthony’s Church and slow down the water before it continues toward the railroad tracks.
An alternate option could mean widening the ditch into property owned by St. Anthony’s. Barba said the city is going to approach the church about using some of its green space to shape the ditch.
The end result could see infrastructure strong enough to weather a 25-year flood event. According to Garcia, the improvements could mean a 4 percent chance of water encroaching onto properties; a decrease from the 50 percent chance with current infrastructure.
“It should help properties east of the roadway from getting inundated with water like they were before,” Barba said.